SERMON: 10 SPIES INSPIRE FEAR RATHER THAN FAITH
by Pius, Servant of Yahweh in Kenya
Scripture Reading:Numbers 13:1–15:41; Joshua 2:1–24
There we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the
Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we
seemed to them. (Numbers 13:33)
After 40 days, all 12 spies assential testified to the entire
Iraelite community and Moses that the Land does flow with milk and
honey just as Yah had promised. Despite that, they also had cities that
were fortified and giants lived in the Land. Rather than focusing
on the great fruitfulness of the land, they focused instead on the
great size of the inhabitants in contrast to their own smallness.
Caleb tried to counter their defeatist attitude by assuring the
people, with Yah’s help. He urged them,
"We are well able to overcome it” “Let us go up at once and occupy it."
The other 10 spies, however, instilled such fear in the people that
the whole Israelite community began to cry and shout,
If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! (Numbers 14:1–2)
In their apprehension, they forgot how Yah hard sent ten plagues and
even parted a sea for them, so they cried more;
Why is the Yah bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the
sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder.We should
choose a leader and go back to Egypt. (Numbers 14:3–4)
Of course, this is not the first time the people wanted to go back to Egypt.
The people stood trapped between an advancing Egyptian army and the
Red Sea. Terrified, they told Moses,
Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the
Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians
than to die in the desert! (Exodus 14:12)
Then Yah parted the Red Sea and crushed the Egyptian army. when they
reached the other side of the sea in safely, they were already craving
the food back in bondage.
If only we had died by the Yah's hand in Egypt! There we sat around
pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us
out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death. (Exodus
Then Yah sent manna every morning for them to eat.Then Yah sent quail,
along with judgment for their continual complaining. Throughout their wilderness journey, they complained to Moses and about Moses for many reasons. Each time, they witnessed Yah’s judgments and mercy. Yet, they still did not fully apprehend His love for them, nor His ability to keep His promise to give them a land of their own.Yah said it best:
How long will these people treat Me with contempt? How long will they
refuse to believe in Me, in spite of all the signs I have performed
among them? (Numbers 14:11)
What lessons may we learn from this account of Israel in the wilderness?
First, we need to be people of Faith, seeing ourseves as sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and not tiny grasshoppers to be crushed under some giant’s foot. We need to believe that no matter what challenge we face today, we are “well able to overcome it” with Yah’s help.
This is the kind of faith that pleases Yah. Without it, it is impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Second, as people of Faith, we need to guard our speech and speak forth Faith filled words.
Why did the whole community of Israel die in the wilderness?
They reaped the fruit of their faithless, fearful words.The people said many times, We will surely die in this wilderness, and Yah allowed them to speak their own future into exisitence.
Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Yah, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. (Numbers 14:28–29)
For each of the 40 days that the Israelites spied out the land of Canaan, the Israelites would wander in the wilderness a year until that generation died 40 years. Only Joshua and Caleb, who had a different spirit and wholly trusted in the Lord would enter the Promised Land along with the next generation.
According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. I the Yah have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. (Numbers 14:34)
Third, we need to repent of our unbelief and begin trusting in Yah or else we cannot move forward. And sometimes, our lack of faith may prevent us from moving forward in a particular area even after we repent .In this sermon, the Israelites were suddenly remorseful for their behavior and gathered up the courage to go up and take the Land, but it was too late.
Moses warned them,but they rebelled again, went up in presumption and were, therefore, defeated by the Amalekites and Canaanites. Also, the ten spies who had brought back the evil report of the Land were struck down by Yah in a plague; but Joshua and Caleb were left alive. Yah had rendered His final decision and they were now “not able” as they had spoken over themselves.
Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies, (Numbers 14:42.)
From now on, we should be a humble people given to the intercession for others -- for family members and complete strangers. May we all be like Moshe, who pleaded for mercy on behalf of his people. Halleluyah!!!
(Brother Pius, Kisii Kenya, Halleluyah Congregation)